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What Every Commercial Building Owner Needs to Know About Carbon Monoxide

Home » Blog » What Every Commercial Building Owner Needs to Know About Carbon Monoxide

Many business owners assume that if they install carbon monoxide detectors, they never have to worry about the dangers associated with this gas. However, it’s not that simple. Detectors will indeed alert individuals in the building about a serious leak and help to protect them from harm.

However, carbon monoxide leaks can have other effects. As a result, you don’t only need to know when leaks occur, you need to prevent them from happening. If you haven’t had your HVAC system checked by a Greenville HVAC professional in some time, you need to be proactive and schedule an inspection.

Know All the Dangers Carbon Monoxide Leaks

You know carbon monoxide can be dangerous but you may not know exactly where it is coming from. Some people think air conditioners can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. However, they don’t produce this gas. What you need to pay attention to is your heating system. it’s important to know that carbon monoxide could be escaping even if your detectors don’t go off.

Most of these devices are designed to alarm only when CO levels are dangerous enough to result in death. However, exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide over a long period can result in nausea, fatigue, headache, and other symptoms. If lots of people in the building are complaining about these symptoms, you need to have an HVAC professional check all potential sources of CO checked.

What to Do If the Detectors Go Off

You need to have a plan for what should happen even the event of an emergency. You don’t want to be caught off-guard if the alarm sounds while you’re serving customers. You may have specific protocols based on the nature of your business but generally, you should:

  • Leave the building.
  • Call the fire department. If you don’t have a system that contacts the fire department automatically, someone needs to make the call.
  • Do a headcount of your staff. You need to know if someone is missing.
  • Turn off the heating system.
  • Open the doors and windows if possible so fresh air can flow in and out.
  • Call a local HVAC company right away so you can find the source of the leak and get it fixed.

Carbon monoxide leaks can result in a loss of business. Not only do you need to close until the issue is addressed but anyone who saw the evacuation or participated in it is likely to share it on social media. The local news may also report on what happened, causing damage to your reputation.

Let’s look at how you can prevent leaks from happening in the first place, so your sales and reputation don’t take a hit.

Tips for Ensuring Your Building is Safe

Your local HVAC company can help to prevent carbon monoxide leaks. You need to have your furnace, vents, chimneys, and appliances inspected on a regular basis. A professional will be able to identify problems early and fix them before this odorless, colorless gas begins to cause problems. You should consider setting up a maintenance contract with the HVAC company. That way, you won’t have to call every year to schedule a visit and you’ll work with a business that’s already familiar with your operation.

You may also have to schedule an inspection of your heat exchangers. These take harmful gases away from your furnace’s heating ducts and out of your building. As time goes on, they can corrode or develop holes or cracks. You won’t know this because the furnace will continue to work. However, CO will be flowing through your ventilation system.

A heat exchanger inspection isn’t always included in a furnace maintenance visit so you need to confirm that it will be conducted. Damaged heat exchangers in gas or oil furnaces are a common cause of carbon monoxide leaks.

Another role of the HVAC professional is ensuring your vents are flues are clean. High carbon dioxide levels can build up if these are blocked by dirt and debris. The ventilation system is supposed to take deadly gases out of the building. If it can’t do so, a disaster could be looming. With regular inspection and cleaning, your operation will be a lot safer.

Contact C&L Services Today

It’s essential that you hire qualified professionals to maintain your HVAC system and that you do so regularly. It’s best to do repairs when problems are minor instead of waiting until there’s an emergency. Given the dangers associated with carbon monoxide leaks, you definitely don’t want to wait. Call the team at C&L Services today to book an inspection.


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